The days are growing longer, the soil is growing softer, and despite the rain, the sun is shining brighter - spring is upon us! Here at the nursery, veggies are in full swing, with large shipments arriving weekly. Do your table, your health, and your soul some good by planting a Victory Garden.
Victory Gardens hail back to another unusual time in our history. During World War II, American families were encouraged to ease the burden on stressed supply lines by growing their own produce at home. By 1944, Victory Gardens produced 40 percent of all vegetables grown in the United States.
There are many victories to be had in today's victory garden. Save money. Teach yourself or your kids a skill. Fight hunger. Promote physical (and mental) health. Help the environment. Not last or least, avoid trips to grocery stores for items you can easily produce yourself.
With a little elbow-grease and some good old-fashioned know-how, you can get growing today!
What You'll Need
A sunny spot.
Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. This can be either a dedicated part of your yard, or some strategic containers on a patio or balcony. You can grow a Victory Garden in a small space - in fact, that's the whole point!
The foundation of every garden! Start with your own garden soil, or potting soil for containers.
You'll mix these in with your garden soil or potting mix before planting. What you need depends on what you're growing. A few of our favorite amendments for fruit and veggie gardens include:
G&B Harvest Supreme - The gold standard for most fruits and veggies.
G&B Acid Planting Mix - For acid-lovers like Blueberries.
G&B Purely Compost - Great for heavy-feeders like Corn and Tomatoes
G&B Raised Bed & Potting Mix - A lightweight and nutrient-rich mix formulated for raised beds.
These provide quick and easy nutrients for baby plants to access. Again, what you need depends on what you're growing. Our recommendations include:
Mykos - Don't skip this. Not technically a fertilizer, Mykos gives plants a shortcut into the surrounding microbiome, which promotes strong roots and healthy growth. Highly recommended!
G&B Tomato, Vegetable, & Herb Fertilizer -Helps produce abundant, tasty, and nutritious crops. If you get no other fertilizer for your Victory Garden, get this one.
G&B Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer - Don't forget to count existing Citrus trees as part of your Victory Garden! Spring is a great time to feed them for optimal growth during the summer.
G&B Rhododendron, Azalea, & Camellia Fertilizer -This is great for acid-lovers like Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, and Huckleberries.
For more on what to put in your Victory Garden, keep reading…
What You'll Grow
Plants Or Seeds?
Yamagami's carries both plants and seeds, so which should you plant in your garden?
Best answer: why not both?
Utilize plant starts for varieties that are either difficult to start from seed (Peppers can be tricky), take too long to start from seed (Tomatoes should have been started in February), or that you'd like to harvest soon.
Seeds are great for plants that are difficult to transplant (like Radishes) or that mature fairly quickly (like Mesclun Lettuce), as well as for summer growers like Corn and Squash that can go into the ground late April through mid-May.
Plants To Eat Now
Most greens need about 45 days to reach full maturity, but in a pinch, you can eat the baby leaves in about a month. If you start with plants instead of seeds, you can start eating from your Victory Garden even sooner than that!
Here are some plants we have in stock that you can put in the ground now, and on your table in just a few short weeks:
- Mesclun (for cut-and-come-again salads)
Plants To Eat Later
Vegetables that grow big roots or fruits need about three months to mature. Plant them in your Victory Garden now to ensure bountiful harvests this summer.
Yamagami's currently has these warm-weather favorites in stock, with more arriving every week:
- Eggplant (Aubergines)
- Summer Squash, including Zucchini
How You'll Put It Together
Detailed instructions depend on what you are planting. That being said, these basics work well for a majority of plants:
1) Water your starter plants well before transplanting.
2) Create a soil blend by mixing 1 part your garden soil (or potting soil), 1 part soil amendment, and the recommended amount of your chosen G&B fertilizer.
3) Dig your planting hole(s) as high and twice as wide as the rootball of your plant.
4) Sprinkle Mykos into the bottom of your planting hole (consult package for quantity and further instructions).
5) Gently remove the plant from its container. If the roots are tangled or tight, loosen them with your fingers or garden shears.
6) Place plant so the top of the rootball is level with (or slightly higher than) the top of the planting hole.
7) Backfill planting hole with your soil blend, tamping down as you go.
8) Water thoroughly. For an extra boost, use a solution of SUPERthrive. Use this solution again in 1 week.
9) Check soil moisture daily before watering again. Water only if soil feels barely damp 2 to 3 inches down. Don't drown your new plants!
The Yamagami's website has detailed instructions for both planting from seed, and for planting fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more! For detailed instructions, please consult the Guides at www.yamagamis.com/garden-guides.